Illinois safe haven facilities urge birthparents to utilize resources

Rockford Fire Department and area shelters raise awareness of dangers of abandonment
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 6:07 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A baby recently left to die outside a Chicago Fire Station drives emergency facilities throughout the state to educate people about Illinois Safe Haven Law and options available.

Illinois adopted it’s Safe Haven Law in 2001. It gives options for people who find themselves in a difficult situation. Now shelters, hospitals as well as fire and police departments speak out to let more people know that there is help around just about every corner.

The Illinois Safe Haven Law allows for the surrendering of newborns up to 30 days old. It protects the parents from facing any civil or criminal charges. “We’re not interested in what led to that decision because I’m sure it’s very very difficult one to make. Our goal is to make sure the child is safe, and that’s what were here for,” says Division Chief Matthew Knott of the Rockford Fire Department.

You can surrender a baby for safe haven help, no questions asked. Hospitals, emergency care facilities police and fire stations are all safe haven facilities.

The law requires anyone wanting to leave a newborn to try and reach someone inside the building. If a physical hand off doesn’t happen, it’s considered abandonment. The Safe Haven Law pertains to both birthmothers and birthfathers as well as legal guardians.

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